Title: Stay a Little Longer
Author: Jess Bryant
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 19, 2018
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, in the closet, coming out, being outed, law enforcement, musician
Country music superstar, Trent Thorne is on the run. What he’s kept hidden from the world is no longer a secret. He trusted the wrong person, a man he’d stupidly thought he was in love with, and instead of a happily ever after all he’d gotten was outed. Unwilling to sit around and watch his private life get plastered all over the news, Trent hits the road and somehow ends up in his best friend Lemon’s small hometown of Fate, Texas.
Lance Nichols knows a thing or two about hiding. He’s so deep in the closet he can’t even see daylight. The former womanizer finally admitted the truth to himself a few years ago but he never thought he’d be able to say the words aloud, not to his family, not to his friends, and certainly not to his secret celebrity crush when the guy stumbles awkwardly into his life.
Fate brought these two together, but will it also tear them apart? One newly outed man refuses to go back in the closet. The other can’t imagine coming out of his.
Stay a Little Longer
Jess Bryant © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Fuckin’ Heath motherfuckin’ Barber could go fuck himself.
Trent Thorne had been betrayed by a man he’d thought he could trust. The man he’d considered his best friend. The man who he’d convinced himself he was in love with. The man who he’d been delusional enough to believe might be in love with him too.
He white-knuckled the steering wheel and cursed his ex-best friend for the millionth time. He was an idiot. An idiot to have ever thought Heath reciprocated his feelings. An idiot to have ever said those three little words, to have ever said a thing about how he felt or who he was. A major idiot for ever having believed he could have it all.
He’d told Heath his biggest secret. The one thing he kept from everyone but a trusted few in his inner circle. Nobody on the outside knew. Not his record label or his band. Certainly, not the millions of people that bought his albums or the legions of women who threw themselves at him. He’d told Heath he was gay, and it had turned out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
Heath’s reaction to his confession had been swift and brutal. He’d recoiled, and he’d called Trent a liar. He’d said Trent had been lying to him from the moment they met. He’d said Trent had been lying to him every day for two years. Been lying ever since he’d hired the retired professional athlete as his trainer and then his personal assistant. Heath had been the person in his life he was closest to, only he’d said he didn’t know Trent at all.
And the thing was, Trent hadn’t been able to deny it. Of course, Heath didn’t know him. Very few people could say they did. Not the real Trent. Not Trenton James Thorne, Texas native, long-lost brother and exiled son with an unhealthy fear of firearms and dying alone. Because to be Trent Thorne, country music superstar, charmer and all-around lady’s man, he couldn’t be himself.
He couldn’t be gay.
That had been made clear to him from the day he set foot in Nashville, and in the years since, covering up and hiding his truth had been as much a full-time job as performing or recording. The first time that spotlight had hit him and the crowd went wild, he would’ve sold his soul to the devil to make that feeling last.
In a lot of ways, he knew now that he had.
He’d sold himself out for the money and the fame and the success of being worshipped by a bunch of strangers. Because he’d just wanted to play his music and he’d thought it was the only way. Because his manager, his record label, and his throng of adoring fans wanted the Trent Thorne who wiggled his hips and winked at all the girls, who sang bro-country anthems about hooking up with hot chicks down by the lake and crooned about soft bodies in moonlight.
Nobody wanted the real Trent Thorne. They never had. They never would.
The cell phone vibrating in the center console of his rental called him a liar now too. It hadn’t stopped ringing all day. Not since the news broke. It seemed the entire fucking world wanted a piece of the real Trent Thorne now, and it was all because he’d trusted the wrong person, fallen for the wrong person, shown his true self to someone who hadn’t liked what they’d seen.
Heath had fuckin’ outed him.
Considering it was his life being broadcast over every entertainment outlet in the western hemisphere, Trent was a little fuzzy on the details of how it had happened. He’d woken up to his ringing phone this morning. His manager, Rick, had said something about Heath telling a friend who told a friend who told someone who wasn’t a friend… or something like that.
It sounded so cliché. High school drama multiplied to the umpteenth level. Trent almost could have laughed. Almost. All of his carefully laid plans, skillfully guarded secrets, and he’d been outed by a game of telephone gone awry.
The entire fuckin’ world knew he was gay now, which meant life as he knew it was over.
Just that fast and just that easily, he was done in Nashville. He knew it. Had always known it would be the end of his career if he trusted the wrong person with his true identity and it got out.
But he’d thought he was in love with Heath, which was just so goddamn ridiculous in the bright light of today that he had no explanation for how he could have so monumentally screwed up.
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Meet the Author
Jess Bryant is an avid indoorswoman. A city girl trapped in a country girl’s life, her heart resides in Dallas but her soul and roots are in small town Oklahoma. She enjoys manicures, the color pink, and her completely impractical for country life stilettos. She believes that hair color is a legitimate form of therapy, as is reading and writing romance. She started writing as a little girl but her life changed forever when she stole a book from her aunt’s Harlequin collection and she’s been creating love stories with happily ever afters ever since.
Jess holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma and is a lifetime supporter of her school and athletic teams. And why not? They have a ton of National Championships! She may be a girlie girl but she knows her sports stats and isn’t afraid to tell you that your school isn’t as cool as hers… or that your sports romance got it all wrong.
For more information on Jess and upcoming releases, contact her at JessBryantBooks@gmail.com or follow her on her many social media accounts for news and shenanigans.